About this event

Joint Special Operations University is proud to announce a live ThinkJSOU webinar with author and career intelligence and counterintelligence (CI) professional Aden Magee at 1100 EDT on 7 September 2022.  Aden Magee will be discussing his new book The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990, with JSOU faculty member Dr. Dave Oakley.

Aden Magee operated as the commander of a highly specialized CI element in West Germany during the culminating decade of the Cold War, which enabled him to pull together an unprecedented story with broad historical context. He is a retired U.S. Army officer, CI agent, and veteran of foreign wars. He has worked as a consultant to senior executives in the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since his retirement from the Army in 2005. He is a published author with over 50,000 books sold. He is widely published in reputed intelligence and security journals.

The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990 details the Soviet Military Liaison Mission (SMLM) in West Germany and the U.S. Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in East Germany as microcosms of the Cold War strategic intelligence and counterintelligence landscape. Thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet and U.S. Military Liaison Missions are all but forgotten. Their operation was established by a post-WWII Allied occupation forces' agreement, and missions had relative freedom to travel and collect intelligence throughout East and West Germany from 1947 until 1990.

This book addresses Cold War intelligence and counterintelligence in a manner that provides a broad historical perspective and then brings the reader to a never-before documented artifact of Cold War history. The book details the intelligence/counterintelligence dynamic that was among the most emblematic of the Cold War. Ultimately, the book addresses a saga that remains one of the true Cold War enigmas.

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, former DIA director and retired U.S. Army officer stated in ARMY magazine that This book should be required reading not only for intelligence professionals but also for senior leaders making decisions on force structure so they better appreciate the impact our counterintelligence force can make when properly resourced.

Register today to secure a space for this webinar that is sure to unveil some of the cold war mysteries surrounding intelligence and CI. 
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 Dr Dave Oakley
Dr Dave Oakley

David P. Oakley is an associate professor and department chair at Joint Special Operations University where he focuses on intelligence studies.   He served twenty-two years as a national security professional within the U.S. Army, Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. His last assignment in the U.S. Army was as an assistant professor at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs in Washington, D.C where he served from 2016-2021.

Dave is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King's College London and is on the editorial boards for Intelligence and National Security and the Special Operations Journal. 

Professional associations:
American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, International Association for Intelligence Education, International Intelligence History Association, International Studies Association, OSS Society, Term Member Council on Foreign Relations (2013-18)


·      Ph.D., Kansas State University: Security Studies (2016) 

·      Master of Military Arts and Science (MMAS), United States Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies: Theater Operations (2013) 

·      MMAS., U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College: Conflict and Security Studies (2012) 

·      MPA, University of Oklahoma: Public Administration (2005) 

·      BA., Pittsburg State University: Political Science (1998)

Research Interests

·      Intelligence Studies

·      Strategy and Policy

·      National Security Cultures

·      Civil/Military Relations




·      Subordinating Intelligence: The DoD/CIA Post-Cold War Relationship, University Press of Kentucky. 2019.

Chapters in Edited Books

·      “Organizing for the ‘Gray Zone’ Fight: Early Cold War Realities and the CIA’s Directorate of Operations,” In Thomas A. Marks and Kirklin J. Bateman (Eds.), Perspectives on the American Way of War: The U.S. Experience in Irregular Conflict, Routledge Press. 2020.


·      "Partners or Competitors?: The Evolution of the DoD/CIA Relationship since Desert Storm and its Prospects for the Future,” Joint Special Operations University Report 14-2. May 2014.

Journal Articles

·      “Perfection of Process Does Not Equal Perfect Understanding,” Military Review. January/February 2015.

·      “Adapting to Change: Strategic Turning Points and the CIA/DoD Relationship,” InterAgency Journal. 5(1), Winter 2014, 3-11.

·      “Ten Years of GWOT, the Failure of Democratization and the Fallacy of Ungoverned Spaces” (co-authored with Pat Proctor), Journal of Strategic Security. 5 (1): 1-14.

·      “Taming the Rogue Elephant?,” American Intelligence Journal. Winter 2008/2009, 61-67.

Other Publications

·      “The Problems of a Militarized Foreign Policy for America’s Premiere Intelligence Agency,” War on the Rocks, 02 May 2019


Email: david.oakley@jsou.edu 

Website: https://www.davidpoakley.com

Twitter: @davidpoakley


Aden Magee
Aden Magee

Aden Magee is career intelligence professional and has operated as a credentialed Counterintelligence Agent for the DoD and DHS. He is a retired Army officer and a disabled veteran of foreign wars. At the strategic level, he commanded a highly specialized Counterintelligence special operations element that operated against the world’s most sophisticated foreign intelligence services and provided pivotal support to the highest priority counterespionage investigations and programs during the culminating years of Cold War Europe. His assignments at the operational and tactical levels include selection as the first commander of the U.S. National Intelligence Cell in Pristina, Kosovo, the U.S. Army Special Operation Command G2X (CI/HUMINT Officer), and as a battalion and brigade Senior Intelligence Officer (S2) in the 82nd Airborne Division.  Since retiring from active service, Mr. Magee has performed as a contract advisor in support of DoD, DHS, DOE, and the FBI. Among these roles, he has been recognized as the preeminent Intelligence Community expert on full-spectrum, all-actor threats to large-scale, national-level programs such as the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Security Program (senior intelligence/threat advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters), and DoD Mission Assurance programs which include Defense Critical infrastructure Protection and continuity of operation (senior intelligence/threat advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Security). He has also performed as a senior advisor to the Commander, Joint Irregular Warfare Center, developed and managed a large-scale DHS program to counter sophisticated non-state unconventional threat organizations, and played a key role in implementing an innovative Attack the Network (AtN) program, on the ground in Iraq, to facilitate the neutralization and of terrorist networks with a focus on High Value Individuals (HVIs). Aden currently performs as an advisor to USCYBERCOM and to USSOCOM with a focus on the development of the SOF cyberspace operations capability. 

Aden Magee is the author of five (commercially) published books and many articles in renowned professional journals including two articles addressing CI support to unconventional warfare appearing in issues of the American Intelligence Journal, an analysis of the Islamic State’s employment of suicide vehicle-borne IEDs in the battle of Mosul that was featured in both the Small Wars Journal and the Counter Terrorist Magazine, and an article titled Understanding the Subversive Manipulation of Crowds in U.S. Streets that appeared in Homeland Security Today to facilitate law enforcement understanding during the wide-spread, violent protests in 2020. Aden’s most recent book is titled The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990. Based on the range of diverse topics addressed in this book (epic saga), he has been featured on highly rated podcasts such as Cold War Conversations and SpyCraft 101, and has been the guest speaker for professional associations to include the Cold War Museum and the Army Heritage Center Foundation.



The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990, Casemate Publishers, Jul 2021.

Surveillance Countermeasures: The Professional's Guide to Countering Hostile Surveillance Threats, Dorrance Publishing, Jul 2019.

Russia, Colonial Pipeline, and Whether the Attack Is an Alarming Omen, Homeland Security Today, Jun 2021.

Understanding the Subversive Manipulation of Crowds in U.S. Streets, Homeland Security Today, Jul 2020.

An Intelligence Targeting Approach to Critical Infrastructure Protection, Homeland Security Today Magazine, Nov 2018.

Lessons to Be Learned: The Employment of Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devises in the Islamic State's Defense of Mosul, Small Wars Journal, 12 Jan 2018/The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Feb/Mar 2018.

Parkland Shooter Used Emergency Drill to His Advantage, Homeland Security Today, Feb 2018.This byline is for a different person with the same name.

A Counterintelligence Approach to Critical Infrastructure Protection, Homeland Security Today Magazine, Jun/Jul 2015.

Counterintelligence in Irregular Warfare: An Integrated Joint Force Operation, American Intelligence Journal, Summer 2011.

Countering Nontraditional HUMINT Collection Threats, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Fall 2010.

A Counterintelligence Approach to Countering Terrorism, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Oct/Nov 2009.

Counterintelligence in Irregular Warfare: A Void in the Full-Spectrum Joint Force Capability, American Intelligence Journal, Winter 2008/2009.